The Detroit Lions are excited about rookie Ameer Abdullah who had a very good game in the week 1 loss to the San Diego Chargers, and it probably would be wise to use him a bit more in both the running and the passing game.
Abdullah, coming out of Nebraska, finished with 50 rushing yards on 7 carries with a touchdown, and added 44 yards on four receptions. Joique Bell, the so-called #1 running back for the Lions, rushed for just 14 yards on six carries. He might be more experienced and better in short yardage situations, but Abdullah’s speed makes him such a difficult player to tackle and slow down, there’s really no excuse of not using the best tools available in your offense.
Jim Caldwell has said that the number of time Abdullah was used is pretty much the amount of times the Lions plan on using him in the near future. But is sharing time with Bell the real answer? Or is this just the Lions taking things slow, slowly upgrading the rookie’s workload until they’re sure he can be an every down kind of back, and upgrade his role?
The Lions will always be a passing team anyway, even if it costs them games as Matthew Stafford doesn’t always avoid costly interceptions. But Abdullah thrives in the short passing game as well, and it might be even better to utilize him there. The Lions didn’t lose because he wasn’t touching the ball enough times, but it probably would have helped to go through him and not Bell a few more times.
Head coaches are often conservative about rookies not because they’re not good enough, but because of some inexperience cliché that doesn’t always fit the situation. Being young doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not ready or good enough. From what we’ve seen from Abdullah in preseason and the first game, he deserves more touches, and that will be a good thing for the Lions.